Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group Meeting 13
9 NOVEMBER 2011 - LOCATION: DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES, 1 SPRING STREET, MELBOURNE, VIC.
Independent Chair's Summary
This was the 13th meeting of the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group.
Key items discussed included:
- DPI Presentation regarding the on-going maintenance of recreational fishing artificial reefs
- DPI presentation regarding communications
- DPI presentation regarding project delivery by DPI
- Progress on projects previously approved to receive RFL Trust Account funding
- DPI presentation regarding the use of SmartyGrants to assess grant applications
- Small Recreational Fishing Grants Program
- RFGWG Terms of Reference
DPI Presentation regarding the ongoing maintenance of recreational fishing artificial reefs
DPI provided a presentation to the Working Group on the status of the 'Near-shore artificial reefs' project, funded through the 2009/10 Recreational Fishing Grants Program – Commissioning program.
DPI advised the Working Group that whilst it does not anticipate any unforseen maintenance issues to arise with the artificial reefs, it was sound management to prepare a policy addressing the matter, and that the preparation of such a policy would assist DPI to achieve this project's objectives.
The Working Group provided their in-principle support to consider any and all funding requests from DPI regarding any unforseen issue with the on-going maintenance of Victoria's recreational fishing artificial reefs.
DPI presentation regarding communications
The Working Group considered a DPI request seeking RFL Trust Account co-funding of $210,000 (GST not applicable) over three years to employ a suitably qualified project officer to continue to raise awareness of the three-tiered Recreational Fishing Grants Program amongst recreational fishers, encourage quality project proposals from eligible organisations within the Small and Large Grants programs, to promote the 'Your Fishing Licence at Work' message to recreational fishers, to promote current and completed projects, funded by both the RFL Trust Account and DPI, to assist in delivering projects, which may include the fish cleaning tables program, and to expand Fisheries Victoria's engagement with all Victorian recreational anglers.
The Working Group provided their support for the proposal for referral to the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security for funding consideration.
DPI presentation regarding project delivery by DPI
DPI provided a presentation to the Working Group regarding expenditure break-downs in the delivery of RFL T/A funded projects. The Working Group noted the constraints within the project proposals currently being conducted by Fisheries Victoria.
The Working Group agreed that so long as Fisheries Victoria delivered the final outcomes of the project, on time and within budget, then Fisheries Victoria should have flexibility within the total project funding to meet the agreed outcomes.
Progress on projects previously approved to receive RFL Trust Account funding
Since the commencement of the Recreational Fishing Grants Program in 2001/02, RFL revenue has funded over 400 projects worth more than $17.6 million.
Currently there are 77 projects in progress, including 34 small grants, 7 Commissioning Grants and 36 Large.
The Working Group noted the status of 77 projects that are currently in progress and the expected completion dates.
DPI presentation regarding the use of SmartyGrants to assess grant applications
DPI provided a presentation regarding the use of SmartyGrants by Working Group members to assess Small, Large & Commissioning Grant program applications.
The Working Group noted the ease of which applications could be assessed using SmartyGrants.
Small Recreational Fishing Grants Program
The Working Group discussed the Small Grants Program Guidelines & Conditions form, and requested that DPI draft amendments to explicitly cover the funding of guest speakers and similar experts.
RFGWG Terms of Reference
The Working Group has been established, comprising recreational anglers and a non-voting independent Chair, principally to provide advice to the Minister on the expenditure of all RFL Trust Account revenue.
As the Working Group has entered its third year of operation, the Working Group agreed that it would be timely to review the Working Group's Terms of Reference to ensure they reflect government policy and any changes in stakeholder expectations, and requested that DPI include this as an agenda item for discussion at its next meeting.
Next meeting: 26 March 2012.
Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group